NanoDay 2021 – Poster 07 – Kara Gentry


Size Controllable Fabrication of MAMs as Sacrificial Templates for Magnetic Templating

Kara Gentry

Authors: Kara Gentry, Victor Rivera-Llabres, Carlos Rinaldi-Ramos

Faculty Mentor: Carlos Rinaldi-Ramos, PhD

College: College of Engineering

Department: Chemical Engineering


Our group is pioneering a tissue engineering scaffold that utilizes magnetic alginate microparticles (MAMs) as sacrificial templates for the introduction of anisotropic porosity in hydrogels. We hypothesize that the diameter of the resulting channels and the mechanical characteristics of the hydrogel are influential on the rate of nerve regeneration into the scaffold and can be controlled through the diameter of the MAMs used in the magnetic templating process. MAMs were fabricated using microfluidic chips (Dolomite) and controlled pressure pumps (Mitos P-Pump) in conjunction with a light microscope and a high-speed camera, to enable study of the role of process parameters on MAM diameter, determined using optical microscopy and image analysis in MATLAB. MAM fabrication conditions studied include reagent flow rates, microfluidic channel diameters, surfactant concentration, and crosslinking agent concentration. We show that crosslinking agent and surfactant concentration do not have a statistically significant effect on MAM diameter, whereas tuning reagent flow rates resulted in MAMs in the range of 20 to 60 m. Different tissues are compatible with hydrogels of varying porosities and mechanical identities. Future studies will investigate the properties of hydrogels templated with a range of MAM sizes and evaluate cell growth into hydrogels with different mechanical properties.